A Naga doctor – Dr Jonathan Iralu – has been honoured by the state of New Mexico in the United States for his selfless service during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New Mexico state will observe July 19 (Monday) as “Dr Jonathan Iralu Day”, to recognise his service, ever since the pandemic broke out last year. 

United States Secretary of State – Maggie Toulouse Oliver and New Mexico state Governor – Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a proclamation declaring July 19, 2021 as “Dr Jonathan Iralu Day” throughout the State of New Mexico. 

“Dr Iralu has been an invaluable advocate for his community and has provided a great service to the Medical Advisory Team and the State. Now therefore, I, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of the State of New Mexico, do hereby proclaim July 19, 2021 as ‘Dr Jonathan Iralu Day’” the proclamation reads. 

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Dr Jonathan Iralu, who is the Indian Health Service Chief Clinical Consultant for Infectious Diseases, has been treating New Mexicans and “caring for his community” at the Gallup Indian Medical Center since 1994.  

Dr Iralu is also an instructor at Harvard Medical School and serves as a senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Global Health Equity in Boston, Massachusetts.  

He has been proactive since outset of the pandemic in taking measures to protect the people of New Mexico, establishing a drive through COVID testing, weeks before the first confirmed COVID-19 case in New Mexico. 

Meanwhile, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio has expressed happiness over Dr Jonathan Iralu being honoured by the New Mexico state in US. 

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Rio tweeted: “I’m delighted to know the State of New Mexico Exec. Office, Santa Fe, New Mexico has proclaimed July 19, 2021 as “Dr. Jonathan Iralu Day.” Dr. Jonathan Vilasier Iralu is a 3rd generation doctor from Khonoma village. He has made the people of Nagaland proud. Congratulations to him.” 

Earlier on July 14, United States Surgeon General – Dr Vivek Murthy – had visited New Mexico state and interacted with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and healthcare workers. 

He also spoke at a ceremony formally honouring eight healthcare workers, including Dr Jonathan Iralu. 

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